Written By: PSG
Label: Epitaph – Rating:
New Found Glory’s sixth album Not Without A Fight debuted at #1 on the Top Independent Albums and at #12 on the Billboard 200, and with good reason. The pop-punk record is a very timely, appropriate musical accomplishment. The modern romantic relationship, without the strictures and rules of pre-WWII courting rituals, come with a huge amount of confusion for any young westerner hoping to get it on with their crush behind the gym. The songs on Not Without A Fight go in the order of this confusing relationship pattern and tell a very honest story about what a first love is really like. From first song to last it goes in the way of wanting the girl, being scared of the relationship, having trouble with the girl, getting back with the girl, being separated from the girl, confusion about the girl, loss of the girl, trials of love as a whole, grief over a lost relationship, confusion over feelings, finally seeing the girl for who she really is, and finally just getting back together because they can’t stand to be apart. Sounds familiar, right?
Something special about New Found Glory is the way they achieve an awesome punk sound without screaming. The vocals are strong and clear, paired with the freaking amazing, utterly artful guitar work. The vocals and music are paired so well and such a balance is achieved, a rarity with punk music where the lyrics are often very lost in a crash of sound. This great pairing of vocals and music make the album have a very fluid sound. The songs are, while maybe not structurally, but to the average ear, very similar sounding. This really works for New Found Glory though, as it gives that fluid feeling and it makes story of the confusion relationship really come together as one song flows easily into the next. Change in pace is used to denote emotional change rather than significant sound change. There are also several songs, “Don’t Let Her Pull You Down” among them, which have this shouting bit in them which gives the song a live concert feeling—pretty cool.
A couple songs are worth listening to really carefully. “Reasons” has a great pace and is filled with crashing sounds. On each crash the listener will feel his or her heart beat a little faster, the same heart which is so frustrated with the love expressed in the lyrics. “Don’t Let This Be The End” also has some special sounds, particularly t he intro and the end. This flags the song as important and lets the listener know the lyrics are going to be rather significant. Coolest of all the songs is “Listen To Your Friends.” The lyrics of this carry the sound and description of a country ballad in the sound of punk song—a real musical achievement and just awesome to listen to.